On November 4th 2009, the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation announced its 2010 list of Georgia’s top ten Places in Peril, which includes the Leake Archaeological Site, a rich Middle Woodland and Late Mississippian-period prehistoric settlement on the outskirts of Cartersville. According to the Trust’s press release:
Located in the Etowah Valley Historic District in Bartow County, the Leake site is a prehistoric archaeological site dating as far back as 300 BC. The site contains the remnants of at least three earthen mounds and a vast moat; midden deposits with artifacts from everyday and ceremonial activities; former structures; and human burials.
The site began as a small domestic village that developed into one of the most important sites in the Southeast, both as a ceremonial and political hub. The Leake site extends along many different property parcels, some of which have already been industrially or commercially developed. The area surrounding the site is growing rapidly, so the unoccupied tracts of land in the archaeological site are in imminent danger of being destroyed.
The news release goes on:
Places in Peril is designed to raise awareness about Georgia’s significant historic, archaeological and cultural resources, including buildings, structures, districts, archaeological sites and cultural landscapes that are threatened by demolition, neglect, lack of maintenance, inappropriate development or insensitive public policy.
Through Places in Peril, the Trust will encourage owners and individuals, organizations and communities to employ proven preservation tools, financial resources and partnerships in order to reclaim, restore and revitalize historic properties that are in peril.
Read more about what excavations have revealed about this rich archaeological site at the informative website Bartowdig.com. You also may be interested in joining the Friends of the Leake Site group on Facebook.
Scot Keith, an archaeologist who lead recent excavations at the Leake Site, notes, “with help from the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation and numerous volunteers, we will be conducting many activities in the next year (and beyond) to foster public awareness of the site and its important place in history. This will include public education days at the site, community meetings, interviews, articles, partnerships and grants, research and fieldwork, and regular website updates.”
Food for thought
Why is the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation’s Places in Peril list necessary? What can you do to help other Places in Peril and the Leake Site?